40 A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
passages, chambers and thresholds, mute presages of another dreadful Armageddon. They play with an incredible array of figures and link up the Anglo-Saxon race, the lost tribes of Israel, the books of the Bible and the early Egyptians, in a strange medley.
"When we measure the passages and Grand Gallery of the interior, we find they give in inches the exact number of *years required to bring us into the period in which we are now living," they declare. "The length of the Grand Gallery is 1883 inches; add to this 31—the years denoted by the Pyramid as that of our Lord's atoning ministry—and you get 1914, the year when the Great War broke out/3 Such is a fair sample of their statements.
They are quite sure that the Pyramid was not built to benefit its builders, but instead, was unselfishly put up for the benefit of future ages, and that it had particular reference to the age of the so-called millennium. With confidence they await the coming of One indicated by the Pyramid's greatest revelation, the advent of the Messiah.
I wish I could follow my friends who believe these things. I wish I, too, could light up my heart with their great hopes. But reason, to which I must always hold, and common sense, which I must guard as a treasure, rise and bar the way.
The man whose untiring effort and persevering research did more to create these theories than that of anyone else, was Piazzi Smyth, one-time Astronomer of Scotland. Smyth's character was amazing: it trembled on the verge of inspired genius, but his hard Scottish dogmatism interfered with and distorted the message which his intuition was trying to communicate to his intellect.
Smyth went out and spent a whole winter at the Pyramid, measuring from point to point, taking angles and examining every detail of the structure. But he brought his theories ready-made with him, and those measures and figures had to fit these theories. The latter, like the Pyramid, were immovable; but the former, unlike the Pyramid, might be made to accommodate themselves to what they were expected to prove. Smyth worked quite honestly, of course, but was half-blinded by his partisanship. I know only that the late Sir Ernest Wallis Budge, formerly Keeper of the Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum, could not accept his figures. I know also that Sir Flinders Petrie, doyen of English archaeologists in Egypt, after